Café Settebello

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Gorgeous smells tease our taste buds,
Music from Italy transports us away and…
This is the place to come to if you want to get stuffed.

Diners today we finally made it to Cafe Settebello  Newton Rd, Newton.
They haven’t been in this location very long but it’s been recommended to me so many times that I had to go down and see what all the fuss is about.

It seems to me that every time I enter a decent Italian restaurant the first thing I notice is the beautiful aromas!!! It just makes me so hungry!!
I’m sure what I was smelling was the pizza that was cooking in their famous wood oven and it was just so tantalising.

The dining room is spacious and modern but definitely has a touch of Italy.

No red and white table cloths but nice pictures of Italy on the walls and modern Italian music playing in the background.
The only thing that spoilt the illusion of being transported across the sea was the view. Unfortunately the restaurant is situated on a busy main road and it was just wall to wall traffic.
In their defense, I did forget about it once that food came and there’s not much that they can do about the outside world I guess but it did spoil that Italian fantasy a little in the beginning.


The picture on the left is the view from our table and the one on the right is from the main window.

However that was only a small complaint… We were greeted warmly and were soon looking through an extensive menu with lots of Italian favourites.
The menu states that they have a One Metre Pizza challenge. Finish the pizza in 45 minutes and you will get a VIP card entitling you to free dining for six months! I think hubby was thinking about giving this a go but couldn’t justify all those calories. I have no doubt he could have done it. In fact I think I would have been able to do it as well!!

Instead I went for the Osso Bucco and hubby went for the Arrosto Misto.
After we ordered the server brought some bread and a couple of slices of focaccia to table.
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We also got some oil and balsamic vinegar and butter. Not only was this complimentary, but after I got my main, I asked for a slice of bread (because the sauce in it was just too good to not be mopped up) and the server brought out ANOTHER plate of bread, focaccia AND some zeppole!! Along with the oil and balsamic vinegar dish and more butter.  This was all complimentary! Who does that anymore? It was a really nice touch.

So on to our mains.
Hubby ordered Arrosto Misto. Mixed grill of Italian sausage, Meatball pattie, Scotch Fillet Steak, Pork Belly wrapped asparagus served with peppers and potatoes and Italian Salad.
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What a lovely vision this plate was as it was put down in front of hubby!! So many meats. Beautiful smells, beautiful colours… it was almost too good to eat!
Hubby was a little worried though because when the server took his order, she didn’t ask him how he wanted his steak cooked. Hubby always asks for it medium rare and this one was medium however it still was very tasty. In fact I think it was his favourite of all the meats on the dish.

I had Osso Bucco. Sicilian style Osso Bucco served with Garlic Mash
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It’s a little hard to make this kind of dish look attractive in a picture but I could smell it before it was even put down in front of me and I just knew I’d have to have more bread when I saw all that sauce!!!
Nothing about this dish disappointed. It was exactly all I hoped it was going to be.  The meat was just so beautifully tender. The sauce was sweet and flavourful and was begging to be mopped up with the wonderful bread they’d brought out.
This is my idea of comfort food!! There’d be nothing better to eat on a cold Winter’s day accompanied by a full bodied red.

Like I mentioned, I soon forgot we were situated so close to the main road and just enjoyed my surroundings and the wonderful tastes of my dinner.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Cafe Settebello.

Have you been to Cafe Settebello?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

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The Lion

Today on The Dining Diaries…

We’re thrown a little out of a comfort zone
We encounter a very special “Special” and
Good food soothes our hungry souls…

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Diners today’s review is for The Lion Restaurant on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the restaurant, or if not, the bar alongside it! I know I’ve whiled away an afternoon or two in the bar in my time but had never dined in the restaurant.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had imagined it would be a bit pretentious.
Hubby and I noticed a sign that said a dress code applied and luckily, we normally look quite spiffy so it didn’t worry us.

We came in a little after 2pm but were told they take orders till about 2.45pm so that was good to know! The staff were lovely and if they had judged us walking in, I wouldn’t have known but hubby thought we were being talked down to a little. One of the servers asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion and I said “No we just want to get some lunch” I wondered then if that’s something they ask everyone or did we look  like a couple of bogans, wanting to have a once off nice meal in a nice restaurant to celebrate something? I did notice the wait staff had good rapport with other diners and that was nice to see.

In any case, if they were judgemental I don’t think they were overt about it and we settled in and enjoyed our surroundings. It did feel a bit “special” in a seventies type way. I thought the decor was a little seventies but hubby said he thought it was more Scandanavian. He’s probably right. I’m not usually a good judge of these things.

We were given some menus and the wine list.
At first I wasn’t sure I wanted anything on the menu. Nothing really jumped out at me. Hubby and I were actually on the verge of leaving but I felt a little embarrassed to do that and in the end was glad we’d stayed. A lovely server went through the menu and answered any questions we had. She also told us about the specials and I couldn’t go past the fish special which was Snapper.
Hubby decided to go for his usual, steak. More about that later!

We started off with a couple of dips. The server explained what they were but I couldn’t  remember all the fancy bits. Basically one was a cauliflower one and the other was some sort of Potato combination.
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I was pretty impressed when this came out! It looked like a decent serve. The dips themselves had a nice texture but I think they probably should have chosen different flavoured dips as they almost looked the same. The texture was the same and although they tasted different, by the end we didn’t really know what we were having.
They were very enjoyable though and had a lot of flavour!! I did really enjoy the dips and the bread and pita they served it with. The bread was toasty warm and the pita was crispy yet firm. Nice!

For main hubby ended up going for the Scotch Fillet on the menu, rather than the Steak special. Our server asked if he wanted potato puree or fries with his fillet. Hubby originally said puree, but after seeing a few other dishes come out, he asked the waitress if he could change and they graciously obliged.

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This Scotch Fillet was cooked perfectly! It was well seasoned and the mustard they provided added more flavour to the meat. There was also a decent amount of fries which made hubby very happy. I did wonder how it would have looked if he’d gone for the potato puree but he was very happy with his choice. I went for the Snapper Special.

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Unfortunately I can’t remember everything that it came with but it was so very delicious! The Snapper itself was beautifully cooked and I can only be sad because I wanted more!
It sat on a bed of some type of homemade pasta, sundried tomato, fresh tomato, mint, fennel, goats cheese, sultanas and probably more herbs and spices. There was also something crunchy in there that made the texture of what I was eating interesting. The crunchy things looked a little like maggots though so I had to not think of that every time I put a bit in my mouth!

I just think this dish was soooo pretty it was almost a sin to eat it and the flavour combinations worked wonderfully! I loved the unexpected sweetness of the sultanas. The ratio of all those ingredients was really very perfect.

The wait staff were attentive the whole time without being over bearing, checking that our meals were ok and asking if we wanted more wine/drinks.

Although a little on the pricey side, I think they strive to give you a special experience and I would have no hesitation in recommending the Lion as everything we had here was cooked so very well.

 

Have you been to the Lion?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

 

Nino’s Cafe

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Aromas entice and dictate our menu choice,
We find a Bolognese that wouldn’t offend a Vegetarian and
Someone’s eye’s were way bigger than his stomach….

ninos-of-victor-harbor-restaurants-fleurieu-peninsula-2.jpgDiners today we were at Nino’s Cafe in Victor Harbor. There were proud signs displayed that told us they’ve been around since 1974.
Simon and Kirsten Pitman  have owned and operated Nino’s of Victor Harbor for the last fifteen years.The business was previously owned and established by Nino and Angela Solari about twenty five years earlier.
Nino’s is a Victor Harbor icon which is located in the heart of Victor’s main street precinct and well known by locals and tourists alike.

It was just a regular weekday and it was almost two thirty when we arrived and yet there were lots of diners inside and out. Some were lingering over lunch while others were having a coffee and sneaky cake and if I forget to mention it later, their cake selection is just awesome!

The staff were friendly and although we weren’t greeted right away we felt like we’d walked into a friend’s home and felt immediately welcome. It’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere. We found ourselves a table and were brought a couple of lunch menu’s.
I don’t think the decor has changed much over the last few years but I also think that there’s a charm and sense of comfort to this familiarity.

The menu was ok for a lunch menu. There was a good amount of pizza choices, a few pastas and some other lunch type foods such as burgers and focaccia’s.

Hubby kept looking through the menu but that smell of the pizza’s cooking did not allow him to consider any other menu item. It was really enticing!!
I decided to go for a pasta but as I didn’t want chili, seafood or a cream base, was limited to the spaghetti bolognese.  We also ordered some fries to share while our food was being cooked.

fullsizerenderOur waiter was lovely but he took this order by memory and fifteen minutes later I wondered if he’d forgotten because the fries still hadn’t come…
A little while later, all the food came out at once. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a starter…

There was nothing wrong with the fries and they were a decent serve, I just didn’t really feel like having them when I had my pasta in front of me.

Hubby’s pizza looked delicious!
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You never really know what kind of pizza base you’re going to get. Myself, I like them the traditional way.. .a little spongier but still with a firm base.
This one here was ok, but (Sorry Nino) it felt like a pre made base I could have bought from Coles.
Hubby really loved the toppings which were generous and fresh and honestly, the base was ok too, I guess it just depends on what you’re expectations are.  I’m an Italian-Australian and my mama would not make a pizza base like that.
In any case, hubby had all of it minus the crusts which he lovingly gave to me (we have a perfect marriage – one who loves crusts, and one who doesn’t) but realised his stomach had forgotten to signal that he was full and was quite uncomfortable for the rest of the afternoon!

I felt like I hadn’t had pasta for a while (though I have) and was really craving this meal!

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I took this photo from the “good” side. The other side didn’t have much sauce or cheese. I really wish they’d let you put your own cheese on. I hate when they bring it out to you like that already.
The pasta was ok. I didn’t have any major complaints. I normally choose a “napolitana” sauce because I really just love good tomatoes and basil over my pasta so I wasn’t disappointed that there was barely any meat in this Bolognese sauce. I really had to search for it. If you advertise something as being “Bolognese” then you should be able to taste it right? Still, it wasn’t bad and it did hit the spot.

My complaints are little ones and I would have no hesitation in going back to Nino’s. There’s just something about that place!

And next time, I’d definitely have to leave room for a cake and coffee!!

Have you been to Nino’s?
What did you think?
Let me know int he comments below!!

Till next we chow…